Report: Harmful chemical found in tap water of 31 U.S. cities

interns Contributor

Millions of Americans in at least 31 U.S. cities could be drinking tap water contaminated with the harmful chemical hexavalent chromium, according to a report released Monday by the non-profit Environmental Working Group.

While the dangerous carcinogen, otherwise known as chromium-6, may sound foreign to most people, perhaps the name Erin Brockovich will ring a bell.

After chromium-6 was discovered in the water supply of Hinkley, California, Brockovich helped bring about a lawsuit that ultimately ended in 1996 with the utility company, Pacific Gas & Electric, paying more than $330 million in damages.  Norman, Oklahoma; Honolulu, Hawaii; and Riverside, California, top the non-profit organization’s list of cities with water supplies contaminated by chromium-6.

Although the Environmental Protection Agency does not require water utilities to test for chromium-6, and has not established a legal threshold for how much can be in our water, the agency has classified the toxin as “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.”

Full story: Report: Harmful chemical found in tap water of 31 U.S. cities – CNN